ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left for Singapore for a medical check up Monday, hours after proroguing parliament, a move that dissolved most of the oversight committees, officials said.
Rajapaksa who had undergone heart bypass surgery at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth hospital in May 2019 returned for a close medical examination, officials close to him said.
The 72-year-old leader was a no show at a diplomatic reception in Colombo on Sunday night and invitees were told that the president was indisposed.
Hours before flying out, he prorogued parliament till January 18, a week later than it was scheduled to reopen after the assembly took a one-month recess following the 2022 budget debate.
With the president proroguing parliament, most of its committees automatically get dissolved, including the Committee of Public Enterprise (COPE) which recently questioned the actions of senior Board of Investment (BOI) officials.
The BOI board quit following the allegations, but the president had asked them to stay on as they were his handpicked nominees to attract much needed foreign direct investment into the island.
Meanwhile, a cabinet minister said they were due to discuss the IMF issue at Monday’s cabinet meeting, but the matter was put off as the president had suddenly travelled abroad.
“We were to take up the IMF issue and the Yugadhanavi deal at today’s cabinet meeting, but since the president is out, there will be no discussion on those two issues,” the minister said.
(COLOMBO, December 13, 2021)